David Cameron has experienced enormous pressure to take a tough stance on immigration an EEA immigration issues of late. On the one side he has the simplistic and sometimes verging-on-racist “coming over here, taking our jobs” brigade. And the importance of their voice is vastly amplified by the defection of Tory MPs and voters to UKip.
From the other side he has the gentler and more thoughtful voices of elder statesmen from his own party as well as those of economists and business pointing out that the measures for which the crowd bays would be economically damaging to the UK.
The Conservatives have stated that they will try to curb EEA migration if re-elected (it is unclear how this would be lawful without withdrawing form the EU, as it violates a fundamental principle of the Union).
Now Angela Merkel has jumped in. She warns him that attempting to limit immigration from within the EU would amount to “a point of no return” for the UK- Der Speigel has reported that for the first time Merkel has become increasingly worried about a British exit from the EU (dubbed “Brexit”). It is thought that Germany would cease its efforts to keep the UK within the Union if any effort was made to impose such a cap.
Cameron has stated that, if re-elected in May, he will hold an in-or-out referendum in 2017. He wishes to remain in the UK and knows it is best for the UK, but will sacrifice that benefit for his own and his party’s political gain.
This immigration blog post: Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Chipperfield, practising from the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, Chancery Lane, also writes at Immigration Barrister website www.iBarristersChambers.com
Photo: thanks Fabian